WITS RADIO ACADEMY  |  Podcast , ±51 min episodes every 1 week, 3 days  |  Broadcast schedule  | 
The Science Inside is a weekly show that goes inside the science of major news events. We take a news story each week - from a missing plane to the world cup - and dissect the science angles involved. We indulge every scientific discipline, from biology to psychology, and incorporate the insights of scientists, journalists and researchers in order to tell interesting radio stories.

The Science Inside is presented by Bridget Lepere.
Production by Bridget Lepere.
Technical production by Kutlwano Gwinch Serame.

The show airs on Voice of Wits every Monday at 7pm.

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THE SCIENCE INSIDE- Feature Scientist - Nkululeko Tunzi

Nkululeko Tunzi, born and bred in Soweto, Dube, is our feature scientist this month. The Tshwane University of Technology, school of computer science graduate has been making country-wide headlines recently, after having invented an innovative walking stick that aids blind people to navigate around their spaces with much ease. In the news, UP prepares for the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) as it ‘employs’ a robot to help students in libraries, and Huawei South Africa launches the first and free 5G training for postgraduates at Wits University. In unscience we explore the Jellyfish, and what makes these strange sea creatures so fascinating


In our main story, SBIMB students at the Wits University have developed a genetics app that will educate South Africans on how genetics work; we also featured baby Sinazo and his parents to take us through their story. In the news, new research finds that too much of unnecessary antibiotics are being prescribed in SA and University of Pretoria scientists help capture the first image of the black hole. Finally, the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Professor, Ncoza Dlova discovers a major gene linked to the cause of permanent hair loss among women of African descent.

THE SCIENCE INSDIE - Renewable Energy

This week we kick-started the show with a story on how Wits University students have power generating have patented at the PeCo power system, which in future may power up homes with solar power where we may see its effects unburdening the national power grid from the demand. In unscience we find out why the Potassium element can be a liquid and solid all at once. Lastly, we find hear about how Eskom synchronised the Kusile power station and its progress on two other power stations to help alleviate the burden on the national power grid.

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Featured Scientist – Tebogo Masebe

This month we feature Tebogo Masebe, a Geomorphologist, who has just completed her masters in geography at Rhodes University. She speaks us about being part of an all female contingent that went on a voyage to the Antarctica for research purposes in 2016. In the news, we speak to a Rhodes university chemistry lecturer who has received a grant for nanotechnology research as well as mounting death counts from the devastating Cyclone Idai. In this week’s unscience, we discuss how a group of flat-earthers are planning a trip to Antarctica to find the tip of the earth, in aims to debunk the belief that the world has a round shape. And in the last segment of the show, we get up-close and personal with Tebogo to find out what keeps her going.

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Hyperandrogenism

In our main story, we spoke about the regulation of hyperandrogenism, a medical condition characterized by excessive levels of androgens in both female and male athletes. We looked at the ethical implications that come with the regulation of the condition through the inducing of hormone suppressing drugs. On Unscience, we find out how genetics play a vital role in the choice of pet ownership. In our final story, still on the issue of the regulation high-levels of androgen levels, we look at the side effects of taking testosterone-suppressing drugs and the science behind sexuality.

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Light pollution

As the world, particularly Africa, battles to keep the lights on, there are quite a few risks to keeping our man-made lights on. Join us in this week’s show as we chat with nature conservationist from the Witwatersrand University, Dr Bernard Coetzee to explore the dark side of light. In Unscence, we look at a rather peculiar discovery on how a specific type of music genre, Dubstep, can be used as mosquito repellant. And lastly we discuss the damaging effects of blue light in our conversation with specialist dermatologist, Dr Dagmar Whitaker.

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Featured Scientist – Dr Nosiphiwe Nqwala

This month we feature Dr Nosiphiwe Ngqwala is a senior Lecturer at the Pharmacy Department at Rhodes University. She has special interests in pharmaceutical chemistry, water, sanitation and the removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater. In the news, we discuss how India managed to evacuate over a million people ahead of the major Cyclone ‘Fani’ as well as how SA’s Independent Electoral Commission plans to use science and technology to ensure a free, fair & accessible 2019 election.In this week’s unscience, we discuss how being stressed or afraid may alter one’s odour, having an impact on trained dogs. In the last segment of the show, we explore the personal side with Nosiphiwe, to find out what keeps her going.


South Africa has put its signature on the international treaty establishing the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) as an intergovernmental organisation tasked with building and operating the world's most powerful radio astronomy telescope. The treaty establishes the SKAO as only the second intergovernmental organisation dedicated to astronomy in the world, after the European Southern Observatory, and will ensure strong governance of the SKA project. We speak to the Department of Science and Technology to understand it better. In unscience this week, we explore the how two separate realities are possible, according to a new study in quantum mechanics. And finally, our second story explores how shoe wear can affect one’s health.

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Featured Scientist – Collins Saguru

Our featured scientist for this Month is Collins Saguru who is a chemical engineer, a research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in the department of chemical engineering. He has developed an economical, environmentally sustainable and novel method of recovering and reusing precious metals found in the autocatalytic converters of petrol and diesel vehicles. On Unscience, we discuss an unusual ‘regular’ occurrence of ‘black snow’ in several towns in the Siberian region of Kuzbass. And in the news, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) pledges R27 million to boost South Africa’s space efforts, while we also look at the development of a pharmacy automation robot for dispensing chronic medicine.

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Human Settlement

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has in the recent weeks held a showcase of the future roadmap of what human settlements could look like. The strategic framework recognises the demand and need for alternative and innovative technologies being in the built environment to help achieve citizens' right to adequate housing and improved quality of life. We speak to project’s lead researcher, Peta De Jager, as well as one of the participants, Sandiswa Qayi to find out more. In unscience, we discuss a new research discovery that some animals actually perform mathematical calculations to find their next meal.


In light of the challenges currently faced by the South African national power utility Eskom, we look at how scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found alternative ways of harvesting electricity from WIFI signals. In unscience, we discuss how new research findings suggest that the brain is able to subconsciously learn new vocabulary from a new language during the upstate of sleep. Lastly we spoke to Dr Kahesh Dhuness from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research about their underwater communication technology that is able to connect deep sea vessels to other networks wirelessly, using wet-end sonar transducers and arrays designed for specialised underwater applications.

THE SCIENCE INSIDE - Feature Scientist - Mpho Tshisaphungo

Our very first feature scientist for year is Mpho Tshisaphungo, who is the first female to head the space weather centre at the South African National Space Agency. She talks about how her career in space weather found her and how being the best keeps her on her toes. On unscience, we look at unconventional uses of poop and pee! In the news, we look at a new discovery by the Mars rover and its new uses and finally, the story of the controversial Chinese researcher, He Jianku who was fired for carrying out his gene- editing research theory on human babies

65 episodes

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